July 28, 2020 | Posted in The Mermaid & The WolF Adventures

MeaZea and WooFZee are herded into the cave opening with the rest of the tour group. Bellum leads the way, stepping into the tunnel first. The stairs lead downwards at a steady incline. The walls are lined with embers cupped in glass of different colors.

It might be pretty, if MeaZea didn’t have such a bad feeling about this.

She leans forward, whispering, “try and stay close to that elk-centaur.”

WoofZee gruffs his agreement, a quiet sound. His tail wags a little, just so MeaZea knows he heard her.

The stairs let out in a large cavern. The walls and ceilings here are lined in the same ember lit baubles. Massive hot pools are scattered about, surrounded by piles of the ember lit baubles.

MeaZea doesn’t think that’s very safe. Then again, she’s a mermaid and not particularly well versed in science magic.

After making sure that everyone knows where the gift shop is, Bellum goes to stand by the stairs. There are two more fire elementals hovering near the stairs. It’s not hard to figure out that they must be security, to make sure no one leaves without a gift shop trip.

WooFZee walks over to one of the hot springs. The water is so cloudy, his reflection isn’t visible. Steam sits on the surface of the water.

MeaZea bends down, sticking her fingers in the water. “This is natural. These springs weren’t made by magic.”

WooFZee says, “it’s weird how you know that.”

“I can hear the water,” says MeaZea, with a slight smile. “Sorry it bothers you so much.”

WooFZee’s tail wags again. He sighs. “It’s a shame we didn’t have any time to be glad about not being in space. Already in the middle of…something weird.”

And it was weird. Looking around, MeaZea realizes that most of the fire elementals skipped the hot springs and went straight towards the gift shop. It’s only the visitors that got into the water.

MeaZea spots the elk-centaur. “Let’s go join him.”

“Ugh. I hate the smell of wet fur,” complains WooFZee, but he listens and carries MeaZea over to the hot spring in question.

The elk-centaur gives them a nervous smile. He glances at the stairs, and Bellum, but no one’s looking their way.

MeaZea asks, “mind if we join you?”

The elk-centaur says, “sure, go ahead.”

“Maybe just you join him,” says WooFZee. He lowers himself down, letting MeaZea slide off his back and into the water. It soothes away aches the mermaid didn’t even realize she had.

Nervously, the elk-centaur says, “you have to get in. They get twitchy otherwise.”

“Fine,” complains WooFZee. “But you’d better start talking.”

And then he gets in the hot spring, too, and tries to pretend that the heat sinking into his bones isn’t good enough to over power WooFZee’s hatred for the smell of wet fur.

It’s a lie.

The water feels amazing.

 

Katelynn E Koontz – Author

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